You might not know all the names but you may have recalled the world craze over Pokemon (Pocket Monster), a video game turned into to an animated series released in the early 2000. Hence, it was no wonder that when Nintendo released Pokemon Go on July 6 this year in the United States, it received over 15 million downloads within one week.
As the release of its game internationally were on a schedule, Malaysian fans had to wait until August 6 to finally join the craze. It didn’t take long for those who grew up with the animated series to download the game and begin their journey of capturing as many Pokemons as they can and become a Poke-Master.
For Joanna Gough, a Pokemon enthusiast herself, she decided that this would be a great chance to socialise with Ipohites who shared the same interest. She organised a ‘hunting’ walk for Poke-hunters around Ipoh on August 14. The word then spread and the walk, the first in Malaysia, received over 500 participants!
“I grew up playing Pokemon cards with my friends. When the game was released in Malaysia, I wanted to go out and play it with some friends. I saw the same event in Singapore and decided to hold it in Ipoh. I never imagined it would go viral,” said Joanna who believed that Pokemon is the key to start up tech communities through all race, genders and ages.
The participants walked around Ipoh to capture as many Pokemons as they could. When asked about the walk, Moses Francis found it interesting to see all walks of life and various age groups had joined the event.
“I never played the game in Ipoh, so I figured it would be a good time to start during the walk. I’m glad that I joined the walk as I got to catch a few Pokemons and even got the chance to level up,” said Moses.
For those who are wondering, the game requires players to ‘capture’ as many Pokemons as they can (current number is 154) using Pokeballs (and Great Balls) and ‘conquering’ Gyms; they will need to fight against each other (using Pokemon, virtually). Players can reload Pokeballs and other items at Pokestops (located around the cities). The game is available both for Android and iOS users.
There are more than 50 Pokestops around Ipoh but the hotspots will be at Kong Heng Square, KTM Station, Ipoh City Council (MBI) Square at Greentown, Meru Valley Resort and more!